Ethernity Chain is proud to announce another unique NFT collection is coming to its ecosystem. This aNFT (Authenticated NFT) collection contains UNRELEASED and never before seen footage of Nas performing a sold-out show of Illmatic with a full orchestra in South Africa on the anniversary of the ending of Apartheid. This drop is made possible with the help of Audio Up and will occur on July 31, 2021.
The connection between NAS and the Apartheid is intriguing. Ending Apartheid in South Africa was a major milestone that coincided with releasing Illmatic in the United States. So having NAS perform on the twentieth-anniversary date of ending Apartheid makes a lot of sense in that regard. Additionally, this cross-over anniversary highlighted a crucial reason why the Apartheid needed to be abolished.
Before abolishing the Apartheid, it would not have been possible for an African-American hip-hop artist to perform in front of a wide audience like the performance that NAS did in 2014. The fact that performance was held signals a crucial change and is part of the broader narrative of how hip hop is a defining force for African-American voices globally. Additionally, it has become the definitive global music genre that tops streaming and sales charts globally, even today.
In 2013, Jared Gutstadt, Founder of Audio Up, had a wild idea to create orchestral tracks based on Illmatic–it would be legendary. Due to a chance meeting between Nas and Jared, they started working on bringing this vision to life. Jared composed the orchestral tracks, partnered with an orchestra, and Nas crushed it by performing his lyrics over the music to a live audience in 2014. This NFT collection is compiled from never-before-seen footage of that performance.
As serendipity would have it, the date of that performance in South Africa fell upon the anniversary of the end of Apartheid. Coincidentally, the anniversary of the Nas Illmatic album release also falls on this date. The charitable beneficiary of this collection is the We Are Family Foundation, founded by legendary musician and producer, Nile Rodgers. The foundation focuses on initiatives that unite the world. These proceeds will benefit WAFF’s Youth to the Front program. Nile has personal experiences as a creator showcasing his craft in South Africa at the end of Apartheid. His song “We Are Family” gave Nelson Mandela hope when he was still imprisoned in South Africa. Nile composed the music for the movie “Coming To America” which was the first movie premier shown to an integrated audience in South Africa. The synergy of Nas and Nile’s creative talents coupled with the power of their music to unite diverse groups of people makes this collection one of great importance for fans as well as a marker for this moment in history. It’s an ode to how far we have come and a reminder of how far we have to go.